I miss steroids. I also
miss amphetamines. Greenies. Speed. Uppers. Because you know what I really miss? I miss
upper-deck home runs. I miss lower-deck home runs. Look, at this
point I would settle for a two-hopper to the wall. Give me some
hits. Some runs. Let’s take baseball back a few years, to a time
when no-hitters were special and when All-Star Games didn’t knock
me out like two Ambiens and a sap to the skull.
— Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports.com, lamenting the lack of offense this season.
Of course almost exactly one year ago Doyel was writing about how steroids have “chipped away at the sports’ soul” over the course of one of the more ridiculously faux-outraged column I’ve seen since I started blogging about baseball. Seriously: read last year’s piece and then read today’s and tell me that the guy has ever had a coherent thought in his life.
Not that coherence is one of Doyel’s primary aims. His m.o. is to write ridiculous columns in an attempt to create some crazy, on-the-edge bad boy persona. Sometimes that requires thinking steroids are the worst thing ever. Sometimes it requires pretending they don’t matter a bit. It’s all about being edgy with him.
Personally, I prefer to read someone who actually has a serious point once in a while.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.